Army of Shadows (1944)


First American Edition of this Early Wartime Novel
About the French Resistance: Army of Shadows, 1944

Kessel, Joseph. Army of Shadows. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1944.

Slim octavo. Hardcover. 1st Edition.

First edition of this novel about the horrors of the German occupation in France including the Nazis' brutal hunt for the growing French Resistance, in the original dust jacket. One of the earliest books--albeit fictional--detailing the inner workings of the French Resistance, Army of Shadows offers a contemporary view of life under the German occupation. While the book was based on fact, Kessel changed names, locations, and so forth to protect the Resistance's operational security. Yet, the broad realities of life in the French Resistance are revealed, as are the potential consequences for capture. Originally published in Algiers in 1943; this is the first American edition, translated by Haakon Chevalier. This book was adapted into a critically acclaimed film in 1969, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. Copies of this book are seldom found in collectible condition due to the wartime paper restrictions. Bookplate partially removed. Pen date of Sept. 1944. Book near-fine, with only slight toning to edges. Dust jacket with shallow chipping to extremities and tape repair to verso. A lovely near-fine copy.